You know what’s more important than having good tea and good coffee right now? Knowing how to store them through the long days of quarantine ahead of us. Be it tea or coffee, good storage will ensure that your favourite beverage’s shelf life, taste, aroma and colour stays as close to the packaging it came in. Here are some simple tips to preserve your beans and leaves properly.
1) Things to avoid
The most important thing is to realize that there are a few factors that are complete no-nos when it comes to storing tea or coffee. These include heat, light, moisture, air and odor. Harsh sun rays degrades tea quickly resulting in destroying its flavours. Similarly, for coffee beans heat from sunlight can hamper its taste.
Needless to say, any moisture that creeps into your leaves or beans can alter their state by prematurely aging them and in the worst case causing them to grow mold. They also need to be kept away from strong odors caused by other ingredients as they will invariably mix and start giving your drink a funky smell.
2) Storage location
Since you know the factors to avoid, now you can select a place to keep the containers. Avoid warm places such as next to a stove or an oven, any cabinet that is exposed to sunlight and never, never keep it in the fridge as it is moist. Also avoid storing them in humid areas of your house and instead opt for a dark place. Remember to also keep the light and the strong tea leaves separate.
3) Proper container
One thing you all should know is that as soon as you open the packaging, tea and coffee will immediately start to lose its freshness. Opaque and airtight containers are the best options of emptying the packet into. Pro tip: Instead of buying your leaves and beans in bulk, buy fresh ones in small quantities to get a consistent taste.
Also, if you’re into coffee, consider investing in a grinder so you can ground coffee just before you have it. Until you have your cup, keep the beans whole so they can preserve their aroma and flavour.
Some of the types of containers or packets that you can use to store your tea leaves and coffee beans are:
a) Opaque packet or container.
b) Air tight container or air tight packet. If you use loose tea bags, make sure you transfer them into an airtight container.
c) Non-reactive metal containers.
d) Non-leaching plastic containers.
e) Wooden containers can be considered but in the long run they may influence the taste and aroma of tea and coffee.
f) For coffee the best storage option is a glass container.
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Palak Khandelwal is a chai enthusiast and a writer on her journey to making a career in journalism